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CaFAN

Newsletter
Issue 10

IN THIS ISSUE

Hurricane Tomas ......2

CaFAN on the Move ......3

Caribbean media challenged


to highlight agriculture……4
The 2010 Caribbean Week of Agriculture
(CWA) was held in Grenada under the theme Praedial Larceny: The Fight
““Sustainable Agriculture Development to Goes On ......5
Achieve Food and Nutrition Security”.
Transforming Agriculture
With funding from the Technical Centre for through Food Security ……6
Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the EU officials evaluate AAACP
United Nations (FAO) under the European Caribbean project ………8
Union All ACP Agricultural Commodities
programme, a team of five persons CTA continues to support
represented the CaFAN Secretariat. CaFAN ………10

Among the activities CaFAN was involved in Kuru Kururu Farmers benefit
included setting up of an exhibition booth from training …………10
which displayed publications, crops grown and
a video display of activities implemented by the CaFAN contributes to CTA’s
network since its inception. There were also 5 year Strategic Plan ……11
two presentations made at (1) the CTA briefing
on Strengthening Entrepreneur groups to ECTAD identifies key crops
influence policy design and implementation for CaFAN regional import
and (2) the FAO Value Chain Promotion substitution programme …12
Seminar. Several appearances were made by
Chief Coordinator of CaFAN, Mr. Jethro CaFAN strengthens
Greene on television and radio programmes relationship with COADY… 13
including the one hour radio programme called
‘Top Soil’ hosted by Mr. Roderick St. Clair, CaFAN recruits new
Marketing Manager of the Marketing and volunteers…………………16
National Importing Board (MNIB) of Grenada.

One of the major highlights of the week of


agriculture was the hosting of CaFAN’s food
night under the theme “Eat Caribbean, Eat
Local, Eat Fresh: Promoting Regional Food
and Nutrition Security”. This event took place
directly following the official opening of the
st
CWA on Thursday October 21 , 2010.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Managing Editor: Jethro Greene | Administrative Support and Editor: Nyasha Durrant |
Contributors: Jeffrey Trotman, A. Murray & R. Penny | Design & Layout: Jeffrey Trotman
1
Hurricane Tomas
Editor’s Note devastates the
region’s Agricultures
Dear Readers, Hurricane Tomas has devastated
agricultural production in Saint Lucia,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines and, to
The banana is one of the healthiest, delicious and unique tropical fruits; it is
a lesser extent, Barbados during
high in potassium and low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to October 29 and 31, 2010.
beat high blood pressure. It also helps to normalize the heart beat, sends
oxygen to the brain and regulates the body’s water-balance. Bananas are According to reports and on site visits,
high in B vitamins that help to calm the nervous system making it another the northern areas of St. Vincent, and
ideal food in the fight against stress. the Southern areas of Saint Lucia have
been seriously damaged and have
Recently, the banana production in Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the been declared disaster areas.
Grenadines has been completely destroyed by the passage of Hurricane
According to a report from Vincentia
Tomas. Nonetheless, because of its significance to our region’s food and Fatal, CaFAN focal point representative
nutrition security, plans have already been put in place to restart the in Saint Lucia, the area most affected
production of bananas, with assistance being given to farmers in St. Vincent was Fond St Jacques, which is one of
and the Grenadines. the largest farming communities with a
resident population of approximately
The sudden impact of natural disasters on our agriculture food production is 2,000 people, most of whom are
eye-opening enough for important measures to be put in place to protect our farmers and farm labourers. The
various landslides completely washed
food supplies and also safeguard the income and livelihood of small away the roads used by farmers to
farmers. access their farms in the area call
Derache and farmers cannot get to
CARICOM, with the input of key agricultural stakeholders has developed a their produce in the ground.
Regional Food and Nutrition Security (RFNS) policy document which seeks
to address food insecurity within the region and provide a strategy for There were also lots of damages to
feeding the region in times of natural and other disasters that will impact greenhouses and many farmers lost
their crops by floods and the wind
food availability.
battered all fields in the area. Banana
production was totally devastated and it
CaFAN has made significant contributions into the final RFNS policy was reported that an estimate of 90%
document and will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that there of the agriculture sector was damaged
is a constant and consistent supply of food, while at the same time, ensuring in Saint Lucia.
that support is provided to farmers who are our main food producers.
In St. Vincent, a team from ECTAD
visited the affected areas to see the
widespread devastation in the banana
industry and tree crops such as
breadfruit and vegetable production
that were severely affected. All hope is
not lost as root crop production is still
intact with minor damage to fields due
to landslides.
Nyasha Durrant
Projects Coordinator The Ministry of Agriculture in St.
CaFAN Vincent has been doing farm
evaluations and compensation will be
made to banana farmers, which include
monies for farm labourers and
fertilizers to restart the production of
the banana industry.
2
CaFAN on the Move: CTA continues to support CaFAN
Relationship with CTA is on the
upswing as the new Director of CTA,
An update on recent activities Dr. Michael Hailu and the CTA
Division that deals with CaFAN’s
Hurricane Tomas regional programmes have taken a
St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines banana and plantain crops very favourably engaging position
were devastated and there was disruption of normalcy in Barbados by the with CaFAN. At the CTA strategic
recent passage of Hurricane Thomas. CaFAN regrets the loss of lives in St. planning meeting in Holland where
Lucia and we assure our members that the CaFAN family will support them Jethro Greene was the lone
to pick themselves up. We are trying to figure out the type of help that the representative from the Caribbean,
CaFAN family can provide to our members, particularly in St. Lucia significant input was made on
CaFAN’s strong position of putting
CaFAN will also be monitoring relief assistance to ensure that they are farmers/producers as one of the key
adequately distributed to farmers. centres of CTA activity.
xxxxx
xxxxx
CARICOM engagement
Recently, CARICOM engaged CaFAN’s leadership on the subject of the CTA is also providing CaFAN with
CSME and small farmers and ways of using public relations and support this year to produce two
communications to involve CaFAN membership in the Caribbean Single newsletters, a membership needs
Market and the Economy (CSME). assessment survey to be carried out
in each CaFAN member country, two
Steve Mangal, National Coordinator of GAPA, Guyana, was one of the agriculture fact sheets and a crop
consultants for this project. He worked tirelessly to ensure that CaFAN was production planning workshop.
put at the focal point of any project for future implementation. As a result of
this effort Sis Dhano Sookoo of the Agricultural Society of Trinidad and xxxxx
Tobago (ASTT), Bro Jethro Greene and Sis Gerda Beckles of Suriname,
participated in the final stakeholders’ consultation where Sis Sookoo lead World Bank support to CaFAN
the charge of ensuring that CaFAN was at the centre of future project The World Bank is allocating
development. As a result, CARICOM is offering both financial and technical resources for training CaFAN
assistance to CaFAN from this project activity. members in agriculture risk
mitigation. This is to be done in
CaFAN has already indicated the willingness of the network to accept conjunction with CARDI. The training
CARICOM’s offer to be put on their delegation to countries like Jamaica, is to be coordinated by CARDI and
Suriname, Belize, Dominica, Bahamas and later on, Haiti, so that CaFAN Ms. Keeley Holder, one of CaFAN’s
could use the opportunity to develop its membership base in those agriculture advisors, who is
countries. supervising this programme.
xxxxx
CARICOM Regional Food & Nutrition Security Policy Document (RFNS) xxxxx
Ms. Shari Niles supported by Jethro Greene and with input from the entire FAO collaboration with CaFAN
membership, participated in the final preparation of the RFNS policy FAO continues collaboration with
document. The final document includes a number of suggestions from CaFAN with its provision of financial
CaFAN in which we clearly articulated the position of the farmer and rural assistance to four CaFAN members
households. to develop their root crops sector
Ms. Niles was highly commended for her representation by the CARICOM under the EU AAACP. The members
team. are North East Farmers Organization
xxxxx (NEFO) in Grenada; ECTAD in St.
Vincent and the Grenadines;
Other CARICOM Initiatives Christiana Potato Growers Society in
Sis Dhano Sookoo, Bros. Steve Mangal and Jethro Greene have accepted Jamaica; and GAPA, Kuru Kuru in
CARICOM’s offer for them to make input on behalf of CaFAN in CARICOM’s Guyana.
regional agriculture and agribusiness policies.
Please feel free to share any input with the Secretariat for us to consider as Continues on page 15…
we embark in trying to influence the overall CARICOM agriculture policy.

3
Head of CTA’s Communications Department, Mme
Caribbean media Ouymy Ndiaye, endorsed the concerns of the CTA
Director as she gave an overview of the workshop.
challenged to highlight During the three-day exercise, José Fonseca, CTA’s
Senior Programme Coordinator, introduced Lindiwe
agriculture Majele Sibanda of South Africa, the Chief of Mission of
FANRPAN, a network of thirteen African countries,
representing government, farmers’ organizations, private
sector and recreation with the stated mission: “to
promote effective food, agriculture and natural resources
(FANR) policies by facilitating linkages and partnerships
between government and civil society; building the
capacity for policy analysis and policy dialogue in
southern Africa; and supporting demand-driven policy
research and analysis.

Over thirty media experts from across the Caribbean


participated at the media workshop, which included
audio visual presentations from Wesley Gibbings,
Chairman of the Association of Caribbean Media
Workers (ACM); Sam Mikenga, Theresa Daniel, a media
consultant in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Wendy
Diaz and Efasina Efunyemi; journalists Peter Richards
and Julius Gittens; and Dr. Maria Protz.

Dr. Arlington Chesney, CARDI Director, also made a


Mr. Michael Hailu, CTA Director presentation on Caribbean media coverage of food and
The new CTA Director, Michael Hailu, has given the agriculture.
media in the Caribbean a challenge to increase its focus
on agriculture and climate change. During the exercise, ECTAD/CaFAN Communications
Consultant, Jeffrey Trotman, referred to the longstanding
Speaking at the opening of the three-day CTA and cordial relationship that exists between
sponsored regional Media Experts Seminar for the ECTAD/CaFAN and the CTA in which CTA has funded
Caribbean on 20 October, 2010, the CTA Director several capacity building training programmes as well as
pointed to new opportunities for the region’s agriculture provided funding for the publication of the ECTAD
to obtain a larger slice of the value chains that exist for Greenlight and CaFAN AGRIVYBZ newsletters.
agricultural and agri-products within the new
international trade environment. He also referred to the
growing concerns relating to climate change.

Hailu pointed to the challenge of engaging the media to


spark public debate on these issues. He also pointed to
the challenge the media face and would experience in
attempting to interpret the language of technical people
in agriculture and vice versa in this new thrust to bring
agricultural matters and climate change to the public in
ways that they can understand and appreciate.
Participants of the Media Experts Seminar
The new approach by the CTA to engage the ACM came out of the CTA’s annual seminar in Brussels, Belgium on
12-16 October, 2009 in which the media was highlighted as a strategic link in the chain of information dissemination
and communication that brings stakeholders together as the media address the major agricultural and rural
development (ARD) challenges of the 21st century including food security and climate change.

The Brussels gathering acknowledged that adequate flow of information in ACP countries is inadequate and media
treatment of crucial issues such as food security, post-harvest technology and water management often tend to be
insufficient.

4
larceny there needs to be large structural changes. It is
Praedial Larceny: no small task to push for land reform, but it is necessary.

The Fight Goes On Following the two day consultation a document “Analysis
of the State of Praedial Larceny in Member States of
CARICOM” was circulated which provided a background
On September 21 and 22, 2010, the Technical into praedial larceny within CARICOM countries and
Management Advisory Committee (TMAC) of the listed several recommendations that can be adapted in
‘Deficient and Uncoordinated Disaster Risk the fight and reduction of praedial larceny at the national
Management, including Praedial Larceny’ in the and regional levels.
Agriculture Sector for the Jagdeo Initiative collaborated
with the CARICOM Secretariat, FAO and CDEMA, and KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
held a regional stakeholders consultation to consider
draft recommendations and plan of action to reduce - In some countries, for example Suriname,
praedial larceny in member states of CARICOM. praedial larceny is strongly linked to food
insecurity. Therefore, specific focus should be
The consultation was represented by Minister Hilson made in strengthening food security
Baptiste, Chair of the TMAC/ASSC and lead Minister on
- Create Sensitization, Public Awareness and
the Jagdeo Initiative Constraint on Deficient and
Uncoordinated Disaster Risk Management Measures Information sharing programmes for praedial
including Praedial Larceny. larceny prevention

- Strengthen the national policy framework and


Speaking on the issue of praedial larceny, Mr. Jethro the institutions that support praedial larceny
Greene who represented CaFAN highlighted that prevention and risk reduction
praedial larceny has been identified by CARICOM to be
one of the greatest threats to a thriving agriculture - St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and
sector. He noted that crop theft has always existed in Trinidad and Tobago are the three countries that
one form or another, with people stealing for the purpose have placed praedial larceny prevention in the
of selling to traffickers. This is literally taking the money National Agriculture Strategy. It’s recommended
out of the pockets of farmers, who have a difficult that these three countries elaborate the
enough time breaking even. strategies using a Results- Based Plan of
Action. The Plan of Action should adopt an
Greene noted that past strategies have dealt with the implementation strategy that integrates the
symptoms of praedial larceny and not the root causes. A praedial larceny prevention measures into the
strategy needs to be developed that both treats praedial reporting and monitoring processes of the
larceny as a serious crime, but also addresses the National Agriculture Strategy.
factors which lead people into committing these crimes,
since a prosperous and profitable agriculture sector - The National Praedial Larceny Strategies be
needs to be secure. given recognition in the CARICOM Regional
Agriculture Policy now being developed under
One such strategy that CaFAN seeks to promote is the the IICA/CTA/CARICOM initiative
idea of clustering. These are informal “organizations”
which are established in communities in order to give - To establish and strengthen planning and
small farmers a greater voice and improve their monitoring systems at the national and regional
economies of scale. Clustering helps to bring levels
communities closer together and builds strong bonds
between farmers who will then look out for each other. - Strengthen community watch groups

There are also practical realities that exist within the - Conduct an investigation into how praedial
Caribbean countries where farmers reside nearly one to larceny is integrated into the legitimate food
two hours away from their fields. We need to explore distribution chain
ways in which these farmers can become more attached
- Build farmer capacity for praedial larceny
to their lands, allowing them to maintain their own
prevention
surveillance and can maintain surveillance on
neighbours’ farms. To adequately address praedial
- Establish special units in the police force to
tackle praedial larceny

5
Transformation of Agri- In the Caribbean, we ought not to allow our fragile
agriculture industry to be managed under the capitalist
Business in the Caribbean system as that of the multinational agricultural
Article by Renortha Penny companies. The wealth of “Agriculture Technology” must
not displace farmers and workers and more over, should
Subsistence farmers usually receive strong criticism for not unbalance our ecosystems (natural resources are
not planning or producing enough to supply the local very limited especially in the Caribbean).
market, yet alone the external market. There are many
farmers within the region who do not own their lands We have seen time and again that traditional crops and
legally because it has been passed down from native species surpass genetically modified ones that
generation to generation with no legal documentation. are usually recommended to us from foreign experts.
From basic observations, these species often require
Ironically, some governments refuse to recognise the high volumes of water (irrigation systems), pesticides
relentless sacrifice and the need for ownership of lands (not resistant to most tropical pest) and new stock every
by farmers, which will allow for easy access to credit and season; they are basically a catalyst to making the
other amenities to improve their livelihood for the industry stagnant to growth and development from the
development and expansion of their farm. dependencies on foreign technologies.

On the other hand, it is amazing how multinational Therefore, we must open our eyes and see that our
agricultural companies have easy access to what development does not have to be foreign but from within.
subsistence farmers are presently fighting for in the Latin American, Asian and African countries have all felt
Caribbean (insurance, credit, technology, etc.). They the effects of genetically modified crops and of those
invade third world countries, producing large quantities empty promises from multinational companies. In the
with cheap labour, whose focus is not for internal Caribbean, we must hold strong with the limited
development but for the foreign market. Yet, these resources we have and first feed within our borders with
companies are continuously embraced by governments surplus turn over to the regional and extra regional
and authorities promising to provide more employment markets.
for the locals to improve living standards but they are
often left with the dismay of deserted-degraded lands, The transformation of Agribusiness in the Caribbean will
chaos, mass migration of farmers to the cities, famine, only succeed as we learn from our past and make
drought, and waves of violence just to name a few form changes in the present to encourage a more sustainable
of their exploitation. and profitable future.

Youth Volunteer invited to CTA Seminar


in South Africa
Ms. Renortha Penny of Grenada has been selected by CaFAN to participate
in CTA’s Annual Seminar on “Closing the Knowledge Gap: Integrated Water
Management for Sustainable Agriculture” to take place in Johannesburg,
South Africa from November 22-26th, 2010. Two of the four objectives of
the seminar are to:
- Share experiences and information on best practices in integrated
water management (IWM) in the various agro-ecological zones of
ACP countries
- Identify information & communication needs and requirements and
propose guidelines for the implementation of water management Renortha D. Penny is one of the
activities and programmes newest members to join CaFAN‘s
The seminar will bring together over 150 experts involved in integrated water team of technical volunteer. She is
resource management and related fields. a dynamic and motivated young
entrepreneur who has 5 years in
Ms. Penny also represents CaFAN who sits as a regional member on CTA’s the area of Green Business
Youth, Agriculture Rural Development and ICT (ARDYIS Project) along with Development strategies and
Ms. Keeley Holder of Barbados. Both Ms. Holder and Ms. Penny are creates a close relationship
technical volunteers and consultants with CaFAN. between research and sustainable
development issues.

6
CAFAN contributes to
Regional Food & Nutrition
Security Policy
Voice of Jethro Greene, Chief Coordinator
of CaFAN
CaFAN is bent on making an indelible impact on the proposed
CARICOM/FAO Regional Food and Nutrition Security policy
(RFNS). According to Jethro Greene, CaFAN Coordinator, the
proposed RFNS is part of a larger agriculture sector policy that
CARICOM is designing with technical assistance from the
FAO. He said that CaFAN is bent on ensuring that the policy
reflects the true reality of the Caribbean, especially since the majority of people in the food production system are
small farmers.

Emphasis on local food government is serious, efforts would coming out of countries to be
Stressing that regional food security be made from school level to foster distributed around the region and
should be centred around appreciation for agriculture. transportation will fall in line. I’m
Caribbean produce – not imported very confident about that. I’m more
food – Greene said it is scientifically “We also want to ensure that we do worried about production planning
proven that a lot of locally produced not look at the farmer in an than transportation.”
food that go to waste in the impersonal manner as though he or
Caribbean are much healthier than she is a machine – a producer of CaFAN
a lot of the imported food. ”If we are food. Farmers must be looked at in Disclosing that CaFAN has over
to fight the non communicable a holistic way. The farmer is an 500,000 farmers throughout the
diseases,” he elaborated, “we have integral part of the society. The region with members in 13
to get our people to eat more of our farmer is a person with needs and Caribbean countries, Greene
healthy food rather than a lot of the has a family. Government has to be said:”The Caribbean is seen as one
imported processed junk food that serious in putting things like country. In order for us to get
they are using”. infrastructure in agricultural economies of scale we need to
communities and rural areas.” work together. The idea of St.
Land policy Vincent and the Grenadines,
The CaFAN leader is also Storage Jamaica, or even Guyana to work
contending that a regional food Pointing to the need for increased on their own is ridiculous when you
policy must also include a clear land storage facilities, Greene said there think of what is going on in
policy in which emphasis is placed are times of major gluts and scarcity international trade; people are
on the preservation of agricultural and this must be addressed by the moving in blocks.
land across the region. “We can’t governments within the region.
have food security when “So, we as a united farmers’
government is taking all the lands Transportation
CaFAN believes that intraregional organization is way ahead of the
and put to tourism … without any politicians – we are sensible, we’re
regard for food security. So we have transportation of produce is not a
major problem once the agricultural intelligent, we have vision. We
to have good land policy designed recognized that the world was
to protect agriculture.” sector is vibrant. According to
Greene, the private sector is ready moving in blocks six years ago, so
Stigma and willing to provide transportation we put ourselves in a block. Now,
Apart from meaningful land policies, once supplies are guaranteed. we are in a position in which we can
Greene feels that Caribbean offer – and the private sector is
governments need to have Greene said. “We need to deal with coming to us to supply them with
meaningful youth policies with the fundamentals of supply, commodities because we have
respect to agriculture. “We also marketing and supply chain membership in all CARICOM
have to look at the negative stigma systems that would ensure that countries.
attached to agriculture. If certain levels of supplies are Continues on page 14...

7
EU officials
evaluate AAACP
Caribbean project
Two officials from the Coordinating
Unit of the EU AAACP have
expressed satisfaction with progress
made on attempts to bolster root crop
production amongst CaFAN
members participating in the EU ACP
AAACP Roots and Tubers program.

Ms. Laurence Guigou, Administrative Ms. Guigou and Mr. Gooding examine plants during farm visits;
and Financial Expert and Ms. NEFO farmer presented with certificate of participation
Mariane Tambwe, Communications
Expert, visited the Caribbean during ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
th
the Caribbean Week of Agriculture On Monday October 25 , Guigou and Tambwe journeyed to St. Vincent
and visited three of CaFAN members and the Grenadines and looked at progress being made on an FAO funded
involved in the EU AAACP in sweet potato pilot project in the North Leeward area of the island. They
Grenada, St. Vincent and the also visited the CARDI sweet potato experimental plot and several fields of
Grenadines and Jamaica. The dasheen.
purpose of their visit was to monitor
the effectiveness of the EU AACP Pointing to some degree of differences in competence amongst the
assistance to improve capacity Vincentian farmers that are affiliated to ECTAD and their counterparts from
amongst Caribbean farmers to NEFO, Tambwe said that ECTAD’s farmers membership is much larger
function viably and sustainably. compared to NEFO and that she and her colleague could discern that
cultivation techniques are more developed in St. Vincent than at NEFO.
GRENADA
The North East Farmers Enthused by what she saw, Guigou said ECTAD is receiving grant
Organisation (NEFO) of Grenada assistance from other agencies to continue capacity building amongst its
was the first to be visited, and this affiliate farmers.
took place on Wednesday October
20th. Accompanied by two of CaFAN
Secretariat Volunteers; Dave Rideout Ms. Guigou and
and Sadaf Kashfi, the team Mr. James
journeyed to several NEFO farms led Clarke (farmer)
by its president Mr. Evans Gooding. converse about
Farmers of NEFO were questioned sweet potato
by the two EU officials and they production
shared their experiences and lessons during visit to
learnt especially in the areas of ECTAD, St.
record keeping and new farming Vincent and the
techniques. Following the field visits, Grenadines.
NEFO held a small ceremony with its Photo taken on
members and the EU officials. This CARDI‘s
event provided an opportunity for experimental
Guigou and Tambwe to speak to a sweet potato
larger audience of NEFO farmers plot
who are involved in the project. The th
visit concluded with distributions of The two EU Officials departed from St. Vincent on Tuesday 26 to Jamaica
certificates for participation in the to learn of the experiences of the Christiana Potato Growers Cooperative
NEFO CaFAN FAO EU AAACP Association (CPGCA). They were also expected to meet a number of other
project. Jamaican stakeholders, local and international officials, including World
Bank personnel before returning to Brussels.

8
JAMAICA
On October 28, 2010, the Christiana The EU representative, presenters, CPGCA and RADA personnel
Potato Growers Co-operative addressed the gathering about their organizations’ efforts to improve the
Association Ltd showed its wellbeing of the farmers and their communities. Further comments were
appreciation to FAO and all the made by farmers in the audience. The CPGCA chairman gave the closing
Group Secretaries that participated in remarks and brought the meeting to a close.
the “Training the Trainers” Seminars
by hosting a Farmers Day & FAO
Evaluation Exercise. Special guests
from the EU Coordinating Units;
Guigou and Tambwe, were present,
along with presenters and RADA
officials who participated in the
training exercises.

Some of the farmers from various


communities whose group
secretaries participated in the training
exercise were present in support of
the secretaries. There were
approximately 55 persons in
attendance including 7 persons who
were visiting Jamaica which gave the
exercise an international flavor.

The representatives from the EU,


accompanied by Mr. Alvin Murray,
General Manager and Mr. Ivan
Green, Chairman CPGCA, toured the
Devon Resource Center where they Standing: Alvin Murray, Laurence Guigou & Ivan Green
saw the activities associated with Sitting: Female trainers are Olive Johnson & Cheryl Sawyers
green house vegetable production.
According to Guigou and Tambwe, the overall visit is part of a periodic
The representatives from the EU
monitoring programme to determine whether EU grants and funding from
later participated in the Farmers’
other donor agencies are achieving the objective of raising capacity
Meeting held at CPGCA Head office.
amongst small farmers to improve their production and productivity and
There, the trainees deliberated on
consequently their quality of life in ACP countries.
the value of the FAO sponsored
seminars on their personal lives and
The EU Officials explained that a number of international organizations
their community improvement. The
operate as implementing agencies for the All ACP Agricultural
EU representative assisted in
Commodities Programme. “In this case,” Tambwe said, “FAO training is
handing out Training Manuals,
being provided to different farmer organizations in St. Vincent, in
containing the course work to the
Jamaica, in Guyana, in Grenada to improve their production cultivation
Group Secretaries who were present.
techniques, to improve the use of fertilizers and their ability in leadership
and also improve the management of their own farms.”

Priceless Expressions
Some members of NEFO receiving their certificates from Mr. Reginal Andall, CARDI Representative in
Grenada and main trainer under the NEFO CaFAN FAO EU AAACP Roots & Tubers Project

9
CTA continues to CaFAN signs LoA
support CaFAN The EU AAACP roots and tubers project is being coordinated by CaFAN
who was first engaged by FAO in 2008 as the leading regional farmers’
through 2010 organisation to work with, in the implementation of activities funded by the
EU AAACP. To date, several country visits have been made to Grenada,
contract Jamaica and Guyana in an effort to provide support services to activities of
national projects supported by the AAACP.
CaFAN has signed a new partnership
contract with the Technical Centre for In an effort to enable CaFAN to continue to provide support services to
Agricultural and Rural Cooperation national activities of members, to further facilitate networking and
(CTA). The overall objective of the information exchange on lessons learnt, to implement parts of its
contract is to contribute to enhanced communication strategy, prepare written promotional materials, and to
competitiveness of Caribbean monitor and assist in the finalization of reports, CaFAN has signed its fourth
farmers and improved quality of life LoA with FAO, PR 45515.
of farmers’ families.
The LoA has also provided further assistance to visit three of the four
The main activities to be imple- national projects and to provide training on appropriate topics. It also
mented include: provided an opportunity for training of the CaFAN’s Secretariat staff in
- Conducting a survey on CaFAN business development services.
membership needs;
The CaFAN Secretariat expresses its appreciation to FAO; especially Mr.
- Production of two fact sheets on Heiko Bammann, Enterprise Development Officer of FAO AGS division for
farm management and pro- the support offered to CaFAN and its members which will help to advance
duction planning; its marketing programme and service provision to its members.

- Production of two issues of


Agrivybz newsletters;

- Conduction a regional workshop


Kuru Kururu Farmers benefit
on Crop Production Planning and
Management targeting specific from training
markets
Under the EU AAACP project, the Guyana Agricultural Producers
At the end of the project, CaFAN Association (GAPA) has signed its first letter of agreement (LoA) with FAO
seeks to: and will be conducted with the Kuru Kururu Farmers Crop and Livestock
- Strengthen its membership base Association (KKFCLA), a member of GAPA. The project is set to be
and provide up-to-date and implemented over a six month period ending December 2010. Members of
relevant information to members KKFCLA received their first training on Effective Management of Farmers
Organisation which was conducted by Jethro Greene, CaFAN Chief
- Strengthen members’ capacities Coordinator. The training was conducted on the 7-8th September, 2010 and
to take advantage of marketing had a total of over thirty participants.
opportunities nationally, region-
ally and internationally In a letter dated September 28th, 2010, the Chairman of the KKFCLA,
Yonnette Kennedy expressed her gratitude on behalf of KKFCLA for the
- Reinforce interactions among opportunity to be a part of the EU AAACP Roots and Tubers project. She
and between CaFAN members, noted that KKKFCLA was quite impressed and rewarded with the
and other stakeholders knowledge and guidelines on the training conducted that is very conducive
to their organisation.
The 2010 contract was signed in
October 2010 and will be It is her hope that there will be continuance of training activities where
implemented over a ten month period KKFCLA farmers will be given the necessary opportunities and linkages
ending August 2011. CTA has been that would advance them towards the development and improvement of
a major partner of CaFAN since their agricultural activities. Kennedy expressed the association’s interest to
CaFAN’s inception in 2002. be a part of the CaFAN network and to develop linkages with all the other
farmers and organisations in the network.

10
CaFAN
contributes to
ECTAD signs LoA
ECTAD has once again received support from FAO for a number of
CTA’s 5 year development activities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). The support
which falls under EU AAACP is aimed at strengthening ECTAD’s farmer base
Strategic Plan within rural communities for the production and marketing of root crops. As
part of the programme, ECTAD has targeted a minimum of 600 farmers for
Jethro Greene, Chief Coordinator (re)registering in SVG and has set up six field officers to work directly with
was the lone representative from these farmers and the area extension officers in the Ministry of Agriculture. It
the Caribbean region to attend will also hold a National Stakeholders Planning Meeting scheduled for
CTA Strategic Planning Workshop November 23-25, to appraise the farmers on all aspects of the project and
from October 5-7, 2010 in what would be required of them.
Wageningen, the Netherlands.
ECTAD will also use the opportunity to hold one day village meetings with
There were over fifty international farmers which it is hoped will result in the strengthening of a group or cluster.
experts including CTA staff in These meetings will be held in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture
attendance. Their role was to and other stakeholders such as CARDI and the Taiwanese Technical Mission.
assist in defining possible strategic
thrusts and priorities for the Centre
in the coming five years.

CTA convenes every five years to


CAFAN contributes to CARCIOM
review the external environment,
examine its roles and devise a new
Agricultural Policy (CCAP)
strategy to guide its future work.
The strategy serves to priorities the On November 11-12, 2010, Jethro Greene represented CaFAN at a
CTA programmes, projects and CARICOM Agricultural Policy (CCAP) validation workshop in Guyana, prior to
activities for the following five which he distributed CaFAN’s position on agricultural policy to be incorporated
years. into the CCAP.

In an exclusive interview with Mr. CaFAN believes that CCAP must support measures that will enhance farming
Greene regarding his participation, as a business within the region in areas which include:
Greene said that CTA has a major 1. Improving agriculture productivity
strength that most of the other 2. Improving marketing and trade, starting within our own CARICOM
agencies do not have, “a unique borders
partnership approach”, which 3. Facilitate support for farmers to better deal with environmental
places emphasis on sharing and standards, health and safety issues regarding the food trade
dialogue, rather than talking down. 4. Facilitate focus on young farmers and promote agriculture right
This partnership approach is a through the school system from kindergarten to secondary
pillar which allows CTA to work 5. Support value addition with key focus on the use of local products
through partners like CaFAN and produced within the Caribbean region and support more research and
also through strategic partnerships development in value addition
like FAO – it can maximize its 6. Improving access to finance and financial investment for farmers
resources. 7. Improving access to land and security of land titles for farmers
8. Improving marketing infrastructure especially storage, packaging and
He also said that CTA’s staff safety issues
comprises both ACP and European 9. Support skills development in the agriculture field
which creates a balance in the 10. Facilitate risk mitigation training and technical support for farmers.
Institution. 11. Facilitate agriculture crop and livestock insurance
12. Facilitate the strengthening and build capacity building of farmers
Greene’s contributions were made organisation and clusters as a core strategy
from CTA national and regional 13. Empowerment of farmers and farmers organisations
partnership programmes through 14. Support focused research and development aimed at solving
which CaFAN and its Secretariat problems affecting farmers
have been able to benefit. 15. Support skills development in the agriculture field

11
ECTAD identifies key crops for CaFAN regional
import substitution programme
Seven key crops; dasheen, sweet
potato, yams, eddoes, plantain,
ginger and pineapples were
selected by farmers and
agriculture stakeholders for
production linked to CaFAN
marketing programme.

These crops were identified at a


Crop Production and Marketing
Coordinating workshop organized
by the Eastern Caribbean Trading
Agriculture and Development
Organisation (ECTAD) which took Group photo of participants
on Wednesday 25th August,
2010. The one day workshop which was led by Mr. Jethro Greene, Chief Coordinator
(ECTAD) examined crop production and marketing from the local, regional and
The main objective of the one day international standpoints. There were presentations made by Dr Gregory Robin,
meeting was to develop a (CARDI Representative), Mr. Seithroy Edwards and Mr. Renarto Gumbs,
production and marketing strategy Agriculture Officers (Ministry of Agriculture) and farmers’ leaders who gave an
linked to CaFAN’s Regional update on the current state of production in several areas of St. Vincent and the
Import Substitution Programme Grenadines.
and joint overseas marketing.
The one day workshop also featured a brief outline by Jennifer Blackman of a
The meeting was held in CARICOM Study Project to access famers’ knowledge of the CARICOM Single
collaboration between ECTAD, Market and Economy (CSME). Magdaline Niles of Grenada and Steve Mangal
Ministry of Agriculture and the of GAPA also gave a brief descriptions of their organisations, while Ms. Nyasha
Caribbean Agricultural Research Durrant, ECTAD’s Project administrator gave an outline of the current FAO EU
and Development Institute AAACP support to CaFAN.
(CARDI). It brought together a
broad community of agricultural Significant opportunities for farmers and agriculture stakeholders to comment on
stakeholders from farmers, trends in the agriculture sector were an important element of the workshop.
agricultural institutions, govern- There was a Question and Answer section that was intended to promote
ment, and the private sector. dialogue amongst interested parties and to foster learning among a diverse
There were over 30 participants group of stakeholders, regarding competition and other issues in the agricultural
including representatives of the market landscape.
Guyana Agriculture Production
Association and the North East At the end of the meeting, Mr. Greene noted that ECTAD, St. Vincent was just
Farmers Organisation from one of thirteen countries that will contribute crops for CaFAN marketing
Grenada. programme. The other countries were recommended to meet and identify crops
that they had a strategic advantage of growing.

NEFO visits ECTAD Farmers


Delegates of NEFO, Grenada visited St. Vincent through a study tour program hosted by ECTAD from August 24th
–27th 2010. The Study tour was one of NEFO’s activities funded under a letter of Agreement by FAO through the
EU AAACP. The goal of the tour was to identify key production and propagation techniques practiced in St.
Vincent that will enhance NEFO’s present and future crop production for greater economic, financial and workforce
building opportunities.
NEFO farmers were taken on several farm visits in which they looked at the production practices of dasheen, yams,
eddoes and sweet potatoes on both the Leeward and Windward locations. They also visited CARDI’s experimental
stations, the Ministry of Agriculture propagation station and the Taiwan experimental plot.

12
CaFAN strengthens relationship
with COADY International Institute
An official from the COADY International Institute, St. Francis Xavier
University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, is satisfied with the Youth in
Partnership (YIP) programme between the institution and ECTAD/CaFAN.

Natalie Abdou, Youth Programme Officer, COADY International Institute,


visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) from Monday 31 May to
Saturday 5 June 2010 during which time she assessed the internship of
three COADY cohorts, who arrived in SVG in March 2010.

Abdou explained that COADY functions in seven month “cohorts” in which David Rideout
the participants undergo two weeks training before going off for a six
month stint in a foreign country followed by a two week de-briefing upon Sadaf Kashfi received her Bachelor of
their return to Canada. The YIP is presently being funded by the Commerce from McGill University,
Canadian International Development Agency. Canada in 2009. She has worked with
Agriculture Canada informing farmers
Abdou said, among other things, her visits will help COADY to better about government programs and
recruit associates as well as better provide new cohorts with information services relevant to their farms, as well
on their placement so that they are better able to contribute positively to as assessing their needs situation.
the respective organizations to which they are attached. She also said Sadaf welcomed the opportunity to
that she appreciates the opportunity to chat one on one with the work with ECTAD and hopes to engage
leadership of the partner organisation, since, according to her, it really in mutual learning with the farming
strengthens the partnership in a remarkable way. community in SVG and gain a better
understanding of international develop-
Impressed by what she saw in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, ment work.
particularly the manner of rudimentary agriculture on steep slopes, the
COADY official said: “These are really small business and it provides an
opportunity for young Canadians to engage in community development –
and through ECTAD and CaFAN – by getting information and trying to
assist in determining policies in communication and marketing.

“It seems to be a unique opportunity for young Canadians to be part of


that process … to really engage and put their influence to various pieces
of work … in that their strengths are being utilized and in addition to that,
they are being challenged in new ways … and to learn more of people
such as trying to find the relationship around trying to coordinate the
efforts of local farmers.”

Richard Kirkham and Marcia McCune were the COADY “associates” at


ECTAD/CaFAN during Abdou’s visit. Their six month stint ended in mid
September 2010 during which time, ECTAD/CaFAN welcomed two new
interns, David Rideout and Sadaf Kashfi. Sadaf Kashfi

Dave Rideout graduated with a double major in International Development


Studies and Political Science from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, The first batch of interns was Laird
Canada. He went on to obtain an Advanced Diploma in Public Relations Herbert and Paula Hearn, who served
and haS since worked in the non-profit and corporate communications at ECTAD/CaFAN during July 2008 to
sectors in Canada. As a COADY Institute YIP intern, he will be able to January 2009.
combine his training in PR with his background in development. Dave
hopes that through this experience, he will be able to contribute to positive CaFAN is grateful for the opportunity to
and lasting change for agriculture in the Caribbean. work with COADY and looks forward
for a stronger and lasting relationship.

13
...continued from page 7 He said as farmers’ organizations the enabling environment and get out
become more active they can play a of direct lead involvement in some of
It’s on the basis of that we were able stronger role in their country and these activities and we will see
to interact with CARICOM – a ensure that government does not prosperity.”
regional organization – and, of dole out the country to foreigners.
course, if there is a regional “You protect your farmers.” Novel
organization like us that is active on Greene is also the Chairman of the
the ground producing, they would He said that if the policy is followed, Agriculture and Nutrition Committee
hear about us and engage us.” a number of things would fall in place of the St. Vincent and the
that would benefit farmers. “For Grenadines Chamber of Industry and
He explained that the Caribbean example, we have had a lot of ‘so Commerce. Noting that it is a novel
Farmers Network (CaFAN) is a called’ money come into the region committee in the organization,
network of small farmers. “We form for agriculture and governments have Greene said the committee has been
them in groups or clusters. No matter attempted to create organizations. I working well.
how small they are, we bring them don’t believe in that.
together to get economies of scale. “We are now doing a cook book
We get production. We get training. “I believe that government must based on our local food chain. We
We get technical assistance. It is create the policy framework and an are also promoting a fruit of the
primarily a small farmers’ enabling environment for farmers’ month and a fruit of the quarter
organization. The coordinating office organizations to have farmers based on our local fruits. We are also
is in St. Vincent with focal points in all working together in clusters, etc. promoting the nutritional value of the
the member countries of the network. They must not be controlled by fruits. Among other things, we have
Every member in a country whether it government. They must be facilitated started a very active programme to
is the Jamaica Agriculture Society, by government because the farming promote school gardens, starting with
the Christiana Potato Growers sector has been too politicized over the Intermediate High School, which
Association represents CaFAN in the last decade or so and, generally, is very good since we are focusing
their country” in a lot of countries, politicians are the school garden as a business –
afraid of farmers being independent. not just as farming. We are trying to
Expectations So, they keep them dependent.” promote farming as a business.”
“A policy is an over arching
framework” Greene explained. “A Prosperity He said he joined the Chamber to
regional policy for agriculture and “CaFAN’s role is to ensure that influence the organization to become
food security is necessary so that we farmers act like the private sector. more involved in agriculture and he is
have something that we could fall Governments need to create the happy to state that more business
back on. It is a guide and once it is enabling environment. Let the EU men are taking a more active interest
fashioned in a right way it could force assistance come directly to the in agriculture and purchasing more
governments in the region to change farmers’ groups. Let the private local food. “So, the Chamber is
their behavior and conform because sector investment come directly to moving in the right direction.”
they will be held accountable.” the farmers’ groups. Governments
must simply collect taxes and create

CARICOM consultations attended by CaFAN


On September 16 and 17, Jethro Greene represented CaFAN at the CARICOM Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN)
consultation meeting in Barbados. The purpose of the consultation was to reach agreement on a standing
arrangement for future consultations between the OTN and select Regional Non-State Actors (NSA) organizations.
Following the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been drafted between CaFAN and CARICOM

On October 28, 2010, CARICOM Secretariat held a one day meeting to review the draft report of the CSME Rural
Community Readiness Study which was conducted in Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago and to agree on a strategy. The meeting took place in Guyana and
was represented by Jethro Greene.

On November 9 and 10, Mrs. Dhano Sookoo, CaFAN Director and President of the Agricultural Society of Trinidad
and Tobago (ASTT) represented CaFAN at a CARICOM Stakeholders workshop on “Developing an Action Plan for
Promotion of a Regional Agribusiness Sector and Targeted Commodity Enterprises” in Guyana.

14
…continued from page 3

FAO will also be supporting an issue of AGRIVYBZ and Others


is supporting the CaFAN Secretariat to host regional • The recent training course on Agribusiness
workshops and provide technical supervision for the Management for Farmers Organization held in July,
projects on the ground. Recently, a two member team 2010 in St. Lucia was very successful and the report
from the coordinating unit of the European Union All has been circulated to all members.
ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme (EU AAACP)
visited the region aimed at evaluating the impact of the • All CaFAN members and affiliates are asked to
projects. From first impression, they seemed satisfied submit articles on their organization to the
with the progress of the project in all four locations. Secretariat for publication in AGRIVYBZ.
xxxxx • Any CaFAN member, representing his/her
2010 Caribbean Week of Agriculture organization at any official workshop is asked to
The performance of the various CaFAN representatives submit a report of the event to the CaFAN
Secretariat, which will in turn, be circulated to all
caused the organization to shine at the various
members
workshops held at the CWA. CaFAN was featured on
six television and radio interview programmes during the
week of activities, much more than any other • CaFAN members are also requested to keep the
organization that attended the event. Secretariat informed on activities in country and any
major report on agriculture in country so that the
And with its local Caribbean food night, CaFAN became Secretariat could circulate to the general
the most visible and recognizable organization at the membership of the network.
Caribbean Week of Activities. As a result of this, a
number of organizations including CARICOM and our The CaFAN Directorate and Secretariat would like to
traditional partners are reaching out to us in more encourage the membership to be vigilant and take
intensive fashion with offer of technical and financial charge of your/our own agriculture destiny.
assistance.

The team approach of CaFAN and the consistency of its


message and vision with heavy emphasis on leadership
succession by encouraging young people to participate
CaFAN Upcoming Events
in the leadership is putting CaFAN in extremely high
Crop Production Planning Regional Workshop
profile – way above the rest.
February 14-18 or 21-25, 2011
There must be no compromise in continuing the process
of team leadership and sticking to our vision of ensuring Three day Grenada consultation meeting and
that our farmers own more of the value chain if not the country visit – January 2011
total value chain to the extent that he/she can have a
viably profitable business that he/she can pass on to Three day Jamaica consultation meeting and
generations. country visit – February 2011

Congratulation to the CaFAN leaders at the Caribbean Barbados Agro-fest 2011 – February 25-28, 2011
Week of Activities!
xxxxx

CaFAN Constitution and Strategic Plan


CaFAN is in the final stage of its Constitution and has SEND US YOUR COMMENTS
been circulated to members for final comment. CaFAN
new strategic plan is also under review and a draft The CaFAN Secretariat is looking forward to
outline would also be circulated within the next month. receiving your feedback on this issue of
AGRIVYBZ Issue #10.
xxxxx
Please send comments or suggestions to
CaFAN membership fees cafancaribbean@gmail.com or
CaFAN would begin membership fee collection in ectadsvg@yahoo.com
December to be continued in January to ensure that all
members are in good current financial standing.

15
The CaFAN Secretariat recruits new volunteers

Mr. Elroy Wilson is a final year student at the University Mr. Conroy Huggins is an Agronomist/Agricultural
of the West Indies (UWI) pursuing his Bachelor of Engineer within the Ministry of Education, St. Vincent
Science degree in Agribusiness Management and and the Grenadines where he has been teaching
Entrepreneurship at the St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad agriculture science at the Bishop’s College Kingstown
& Tobago. Elroy has worked in agriculture as a Banana (BCK) for two years. He is a former senior extension
Extension Officer at the St. Vincent Banana Growers officer at the St. Vincent Banana Growers Association.
Association. On November 3rd 2011, he received the He also served as president of the St. Vincent and the
‘Agribusiness Community Service’ award for most Grenadines Agriculture Forum for Youth (SVGAFY).
outstanding performance in the internship programme
which he completed at the Ministry of Agriculture He is presently the coordinator of the BCK Agriculture
Forestry and Fisheries, St. Vincent. Science club. Conroy desires to inspire and mobilize
youth involvement in agriculture in St. Vincent and the
Elroy fully commits himself to the field of agricultural and Grenadines and the wider Caribbean and he is pleased
rural development and supports CaFAN’s mandate to to be a part of the CaFAN team.
improve the livelihood of small farmers across the
region.

CONTACT US

Caribbean Farmers Network


C/o Eastern Caribbean Trading Agriculture
Development Organization (ECTAD)

Beachmont
P.O. Box 827, Kingstown,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
ectadsvg@yahoo.com / cafancaribbean@gmail.com
www.caribbeanfarmers.org
Tel: (784) 453-1004 Fax: (784) 453-1239

This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and
Rural cooperation (CTA). However, the views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official
16of CTA.
opinion